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Case Studies by Kevin Kaiser

4 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 26 Jun 2017

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Abstract:
The case tells the story of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, which was made public in September 2015. At the time, Volkswagen was a much-loved brand, praised for its environmental credentials and on target to become the world’s largest car manufacturer. The scandal prompted declining sales and share price, multiple lawsuits, costs of over €16 billion, and the resignation and possible conviction of key board members, including CEO Martin Winterkorn. It sets out in detail the company context and culture in which Volkswagen took the decision to install defeat device software that deliberately circumvented emissions regulations in 11 million cars worldwide. It reveals a longstanding culture of fear, cheating and ignoring ethical concerns, exacerbated by major groups that dominated the supervisory board. It allows students to analyse the origins of the scandal, warning signs of the impending problems within, whether CEO Martin Winterkorn and the board were effective, and how Volkswagen should handle the crisis. Detailed PowerPoint slides are available and videos are embedded in the presentation The case has been taught at INSEAD in the MBA corporate governance elective course. It is equally appropriate for courses on ethics, CSR or organizational behaviour (on the topic of culture). Undergraduate, MBA and Executive Education students will find the case interesting as many will recall the crisis at this well-known company. It can also be used as background reading to evaluate different forms of corporate governance in Germany, the UK and US.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Understand how the Volkswagen diesel scandal arose and the warning signs that could have been picked up earlier. Discuss how the board handled the problem, and the subsequent challenges facing Volkswagen in regaining trust and creating a ‘fair process’ organization. Realize the importance of good corporate governance in creating long-term company value.

Keywords:
Diesel Scandal, Crisis, Value Creation, Culture, Environment, Volkswagen, Board, Sustainability, Corporate Governance, Germany, Targets, Family Business, Organization Behaviour, Ethics, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

published: 01 Jan 1994

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Aircraft Leasing
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case covers the initial public equity offering of GPA in 1992. The offering was a failure. The case requires students to analyse the company, the industry, and decide on whether and how to structure the flotation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The main objectives are to have students analyse a company facing considerable uncertainty, in its attempt to raise capital in the global equity markets. An assessment of the markets in addition to the company is required, and students learn the complications of initial public offerings.

published: 01 Jan 1994

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Media
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The object of this case is the huge equity offering attempted by Time Warner in June/July 1991. The case outlines the position of the company and the controversial structure of the offering.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is designed to make students think about corporate restructuring in general by putting the rights issue into the context of the company's overall financial position. It also provides a basis for analysing a complicated financial transaction.

published: 01 Jan 1993

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Lightning Detection
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Meteorage Franklin is a small technology start-up firm that has been in nearly continual financial distress through its first 3 years of existence. In July 1989 the company finds itself out of cash and with no available sources of financing. Facing almost certain bankruptcy, the management are frantically searching for a solution to their problem which avoids bankruptcy.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case presents an opportunity to focus on management of a company in financial distress. Students must be creative in their search for solutions to the firm's immediate problems - focusing on corporate restructuring techniques and distressed debt negotiations.

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